It is no surprise that we specialize in ear infections. Most are familiar with the ear
infections in babies and young children, but adults are susceptible too and it only takes
one ear infection for an adult to understand why babies scream and cry so much when
they have one!
Infections of the ear can cause severe pain, fever, and drainage (sometimes bloody)
from the ear. Too many ear infections, or a really bad one that ruptures the eardrum,
can contribute to decreased hearing or long-term hearing loss.
Ear infections come in two types: Middle and Outer.
Middle ear infections are also known as otitis media and commonly affect children more
than adults. They refer to infections that involve the structures and spaces on the inside
of the eardrum. Most ear infections are initially caused by viruses which cause fluid to
build up within the inner ear causing pain, pressure, as well as fever and occasionally
swollen lymph nodes. Most will resolve with rest, fluids and anti-inflammatories. If
symptoms persist, it can open the door to bacterial infections and antibiotics may be
needed to help stop the infection. Too many inner ear infections can lead to long term
issues and ear tubes may be considered to prevent these complications.
An outer ear infection, commonly known as “swimmer’s ear,” is also called otitis
externa. Outer ear infection affects the ear canal. They became known as the
“swimmer’s ear” because they are frequently associated with a history of too much
water or moisture in the ear. Water can sit in the ear canal allowing bacteria and other
debris to cause infection and inflammation of the ear canal, leading to pain, swelling,
and often discharge. Prescription ear drops are often needed for outer ear infections. Keeping the ear canal dry is important in preventing outer ear infections.
Both middle and outer ear infections can have serious and long-term consequences
especially if they happen frequently. If you or a family member frequently fight off ear
infections, whether inner or outer, contact us today for a detailed evaluation and an
effective therapy solution. It is important not to brush off ear pain. Call us today for a
consultation with one of our experienced and caring specialists.